Today’s links are grouped according to categories that work best if you don’t think about them too much. Go read stuff. It’s good for you…
- Historical roster trend (The Book). Ah, the good ol’ ’90s, which brought us Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and those annoying 12-man pitching staffs that have come to plague our noble sport.
- Mike Cameron: Stealth Star of the ’90s and Aughts (FanGraphs). Former Padres center fielder Mike Cameron, recently shipped from Boston to Florida, is near the end of his line. What a fine, underrated player he was. [h/t reader Didi]
- The Ballad Of Wily Mo Pena (PostGame). Jeff Passan celebrates the former Padres farmhand, who is enjoying a resurgence in Arizona. [h/t BBTF]
- 14 Crazy Baseball Facts (Joe Blogs). In which we are reminded of, among other things, Tim Raines’ greatness… What might have been…
- All You Never Wanted To Know: Quality Starts (Joe Blogs). Bad starting pitchers? Yeah, the Padres have had a few: Kevin Jarvis, Brian Meadows, Tim Redding, Kevin Correia… Heck, even Casey Fossum was in the organization for a couple months (made three whole starts at Portland in 2007).
- Heath can sense the Bell-tale trade signs (Padres.com). Quoth the soon-to-be-former Padres closer:
Guys have to make their decisions that are best for the organization. If that means trading me, I get it. I love San Diego. I love the organization. But sometimes you have to go in a different direction.
Bell has been fun to watch. I will miss him when he is gone.
- 2011 WAR-Stars (Baseball-Reference). Chase Headley and Mike Adams have been pretty good this year, but you knew that.
- Glory Days (Baseball Prospectus). I’ve been meaning to get up to see the Humboldt Crabs. I have family near where they play their home games. One of these years…
- Ranking Baseball’s Center-Field Camera Shots (NotGraphs). Your mileage may vary depending on aesthetic tendencies. For example, I prefer any of the bottom five to Minnesota’s vertiginous view. That being said, I do agree with the top three. [h/t reader Didi]
- Baseball Teams as Ice Cream Flavors (Timothy Malcolm). The Padres are pistachio, “a niche flavor reserved for true believers.” My not-so-inner snob is totally down with that. [h/t Big League Stew]
- The 2011 All-Collapse All-Stars (Hardball Times). Chris Jaffe’s list includes former Padres prospect Joakim Soria.
- State of The Padres (PadresFuture). Here’s a solid overview of the Padres farm system as it now stands.
- Moorad on Tate (Inside the Padres). Tom Krasovic continues to offer terrific coverage of the Donavan Tate situation, getting this gem from Padres CEO Jeff Moorad:
I think we need to do a better job as an organization understanding the character and makeup of players who we bring in.
Self-awareness is always a good first step. Next on the agenda: actual change.
- Summer intrigue (Inside the Padres). More from Kras, who muses on this year’s draft, noting that key current Padres staffers cut their teeth with the Red Sox and have demonstrated Boston’s willingness to pay for amateur talent. Jason McLeod chips in a few nice quotes, including this gem:
It does cost a lot of money every year to run a draft, but the return on investment — if you really hit on one guy in a draft, it pays for three or four drafts.
Note the use of the word “investment” rather than “expense” when discussing talent. It’s a semantic thing, but I like this.
- Padres Sign Jose Ruiz For $1.1 Million (Baseball America). First the draft, now this… The 16-year-old from Venezuela garners praise for “his projectable frame, advanced defense and raw power.” The Padres are determined to find their catcher of the future. [h/t PadresFuture]
There you have it. As always, feel free to add more…
Battle of the bullpen last night and we lose. I don’t get Pepe Negro. Here’s a former ML pitcher now managing one of the best bullpen in the league and he failed to make the best use of it. Wouldn’t he have information on how each of his pitchers are performing in consecutive games? Why does Adams have to throw in the 8th last night after having Moseley throw the best game of his season and in line for a win?
Gregerson who came in after Adams went 2 perfect innings with 3K’s. Too late by then, the game was tied. Sure, he just got back up, wouldn’t that be the perfect time to use his fresh arm? Then, I kept seeing Bell warmed up in the bullpen without getting into the game.
It’s frustrating but in the big picture, this loss wouldn’t matter. The hitters helped by not getting anything against the Gigantes bullpen. Almost made it in the 9th but no luck. Still 13 Ks/2BBs in 8 innings is nice work by their bullpen.
Pistachio happens to be my favorite icecream.
Our “hitters” looked completely uninspired after the Giants tied the game. It was sickening to watch them come to the plate, give seemingly minimal effort, and stroll back to the dugout, inning after inning. Can’t believe I watched it until the end. Very disappointing. Is the Giants’ bullpen really so great that 17 consecutive Padres couldn’t find a way to 1st base?
Every starter had a hit, what makes no sense is that he pulled 3 guys that accounted for 4 of our 5 runs knocked in.
Black really tries way to hard to win the game from making switches
A good look at our BIG KAHUNA, Kyle Blanks …
The article also includes this bad news …
Infielder Andy Parrino will go to Double-A to fill in for shortstop Beamer Weems, who suffered a fractured orbital bone when he was hit by a pitch Tuesday.
Baseball America has a midseason top 50 list out, and it’s disappointing for us. One Padre makes the list – Gyorko at 49 (although Rizzo and Spangenberg are both ineligible). It’s actually a step back from the preseason list which had Casey Kelly at 31.
RIP Dick Williams
Aside from leading the Padres to their 1984 pennant, Williams also won two World Championships as manager of the A’s, and also skippered the Red Sox during their ’67 pennant season.
Not too surprising — the only other real strong candidate would be Darnell. Blanks used up his eligibility.
We do have some players who might make the Top 50 if they continue strong. Definitely have a few on the Top 100.
@Ben B – this is no surprise. The Padres lack elite, young talent in their system. Those ratings are also subject to hype bias and place an emphasis on age. You will also notice an emphasis on SS, C, and P… these young studs have high ceilings but also high bust factors. Where the Padres are particularly deep is in prospects that would rank 50-200. These are the type of prospects that may not have All star ceilings, but often have higher floors. Also, as you noted Rizzo is no longer eligble. Guys like Darnell are placed lower because of age. The Padres have a deep system of players that will make the majors and be regulars or utility players; but, they lack that elite regular all-star type. The new regime drafted guys that have upside in the first 2 rounds of this years draft, so hopefully that will change.
Padres minor league teams from Eugene on up are now a combined 34 games over .500. The farm system is a brewing.
I just asked this question over on Friarhood.com, and I’ll ask it here, too, because there seems to be more discussion over here.
Blanks’s numbers in Tucson, like Rizzo’s before him, have been amazing.
Question: A player’s performance/stats at which of the Padres’ minor league affiliates gives the best indication of how well his skill/talent/ability is going to translate at the big league level (and Petco Park)?
I’m guessing San Antonio, but I’d love a knowledgeable opinion.
@USMC – I am a big believer in relativity. How well the minor leaguers are doing relative to the rest of the league they are in. The next thing I look for is consistency… if a player improves at each level this is an indication that he responds well to being challenged. Finally, age should be considered if the guy is obliterating competition at a certain level; however, if that guy plays exceptionally well at all levels consistently then I am not as concerned with age. San Antonio may resemble big league parks more than Cal league and PCL but is not as important, IMO, as other factors I pointed out.
@USMC … I like PF’s answer … and just want to add that it sounds like you might be mixing “park factors” with “MLE”s (major league equivalents) … it’s my understanding that MLEs can be calculated at any/all levels, and they factor in “park factors” … and do some of what PF’s saying (ie. the best performers in the PCL will have the best MLEs).
I think SAs park factor is more Petco-like than Tucson and Lake Elsinore …
thanks, Parlo. indeed, RIP Williams.
As a fan of the 1984 Padres, today is a sad day … Dick Williams was a GREAT manager!
re: MLE … hey, check out this fun tool …
I plug’d in Blanks’ AAA stats, and it said it’s the equiv of .317/.368/.638 for the Padres … cool!
… whereas his AA stats translate to only .218/.266/.346 … so … ymmv?
I think the biggest thing this is saying is that AA is farther from MLB than AAA … but what do I know?
I’d caution against using minor league win % as a measure of much, especially when it’s really just Eugene and San Antonio pulling the other teams along in their wake.
We’ll be ranked in the top 12 farm systems by most evaluators at the end of the year, plus or minus a couple spots depending on how many of the HS kids we sign and who comes in via trade. BA will probably have us the highest, then Sickels and Goldstein, then Law. Definitely an improvement, but too many other things besides prospect talent go into winning minor league games for me to give it much weight.
@Tom – I believe only Fort Wayne has a losing record. Yes, I agree things other than prospect talent are involved, which is a good sign for the Padres since this means they are doing the things right that are required to win. The minor league records is a better indicator of “development” than “prospect talent”. I think many of us would agree that the Padres have lacked in the development department. I have researched several other teams farm systems recently and have found universally that the Padres have made possibly the biggest strides in development this year. Not saying we are the Rays, Royals, or Braves…. but an improvement is still an improvement and the signs are pointing in the correct direction. Don’t mistake my enthusiasm for foolishness… in fact if you read most of what I say regarding the farm system you will see that I am concerned about a lack of high end talent.
Also, the Padres have been so bad the last 15 years in producing farm talent that it would not surprise me if there is a little bias going on by people reluctant to credit the Padres farm system.
Only Ft. Wayne has a losing record, but the High A and Triple A teams are playing .500 ball. The major league team has a lot of influence into who can contribute at the minor league level — how much work you can give a young pitcher, which hitters shouldn’t be pinch-hit for, whether you might want to showcase somebody for a trade. There’s nothing wrong with winning at the minor league level, but it doesn’t say much about what sort of players they might be at the major league level.
If you’re bad at something for 15 years, it’s not bias. It’s reasonable. We’ve had a highly rated farm before and struggled to turn those players into quality major leaguers. It was a different front office and development team, but people are right to be skeptical.
Whitey Herzog discusses this in “White Rat”.
One of the organizations he worked for early on (Mets, Rangers?) had a farm system which consistently fielded winning minor league teams, but was still unproductive. The system had a lot of career minor leaguers who played well at AAA, but were not going to be successful in the Major Leagues.
Sure, there are times when a minor league system is stacked with talent and it leads to winning seasons…..but that’s not always the case.
Should Luebke at least start getting talked about for being a rookie of the year candidate?
He should be in the discussion, for sure. He’s behind Kimbrel, Espinosa, Ramos, and Craig in terms of value, but he could make up ground now that he’s starting — as long as the Padres don’t Stauffer him.
@Tom – The Padres would have won the division, IMO, if they had started Stauffer over Correia. I just hope they are smart enough to trade Harang and keep Luebke in the rotation.
Boy, was that a horrible game.
Bases loaded, no outs, down by 1 run and nothing?!? Another shutout, 9 more to go to tie the team’s record. We can do it, yes, we can.
Three 1-run losses in 3 games. Looks like the Padres are back to early season’s form with RISP.
TW – what does “Stauffer him” mean?
Falsely decide that he’s more valuable as a long reliever than in the rotation.
BIngo … I get you now!